«We… Call upon all States to take measures at the national, regional, interregional and global levels to engage in the common efforts to use space science and technology and their applications to preserve planet Earth and its space environment for future generations». —from the Declaration on the Fiftieth Anniversary of Human Space Flight and the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space


On 4 October 1957 the first human-made Earth satellite Sputnik I was launched into outer space, thus opening the way for space exploration. On 12 April 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth, opening a new chapter of human endeavour in outer space.

The Declaration further recalls “the amazing history of human presence in outer space and the remarkable achievements since the first human spaceflight, in particular Valentina Tereshkova becoming the first woman to orbit the Earth on 16 June 1963, Neil Armstrong becoming the first human to set foot upon the surface of the Moon on 20 July 1969, and the docking of the Apollo and Soyuz spacecrafts on 17 July 1975, being the first international human mission in space, and recall that for the past decade humanity has maintained a multinational permanent human presence in outer space aboard the International Space Station.”